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If you have pets, you have to vaccinate them, or at least, you should! On average, annual vaccinations alone can be over $50 a pet. Here is how I vaccinate my pets for far less that that.
Disclaimer: We have done extensive research to ensure the health and safety of our pets. Talk to your vet before proceeding.
We have 3 dogs and 3 cats, so vaccines can end up costing us several hundred dollars. Instead of going to the vet for all of these vaccinations, we do most of them at home. We do still get our pets their rabies vaccines at the vet, so we have proper documentation of vaccination.
Vaccines for Dogs
Canine Spectra 5
Annually, we give our dogs Canine Spectra 5. This protects against canine adenovirus type 1 & 2, canine distemper, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. This is usually given to puppies and is meant to be administered annually. Our dogs did not receive this vaccine as puppies, so we are sure to re-administer annually.
We get our vaccines from a local farm store for $8 per dog.
Heart worm Prevention
We do not buy heart worm prevention from the vet anymore because it was so expensive ($20+ per dog, monthly). Instead, we buy a generic brand Ivermectin 1% for our dogs. It can be injected or given orally – we give our dogs this orally. Doses varies based on weight and solution levels, so keep an eye out for my post on Ivermectin doses!
You can order a 50 ml bottle here.
Ivermectin cannot be given to all breeds of dogs, so check with your vet before making the switch.
Vaccines for Cats
Focus Cat Vax
We administer this annually to our cats, as well. This protects against Feline Rrhinotraceitus, Calici, and feline distemper. It costs around $8 per cat, and we get it at a local farm store.
We use Capstar to protect against fleas, and we love it. It works like a charm! One of our cats has very sensitive skin, so topical treatments are out of the question. Capstar is given once a week, orally, and it begins killing fleas within 30 minutes. It really does an outstanding job. Within 2 weeks, our cats are flea free! We buy a bulk pack that lasts all year, but the monthly pack can be bought here.
Capstar can be used for dogs or cats. Be sure to pay attention to the weight when purchasing.
We also microchipped our pets ourselves. Vets can charge over $30 per pet, while the materials only costs around $10. We ordered a microchipping kit on Amazon, and administered the shot just as we would a vaccine.
A microchipped pet does no good without registering the chip. I register mine here for free! Remember, most animal shelters check for chips as soon as a pet is brought in.
Microchips are especially great for pets that pull off their collars.